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Yangzi river cruise

Yichang, China

We took an overnight train from Xian to Wuhan, and arriving the next morning tired & hungry it proved quite a challenge to find the bus we needed to catch to Yichang. We were a bit panicky as we had to get to our boat that evening, and our best attempts at speaking Chinese was not helping. Thankfully a lovely young guy could see we were struggling & really helped us out by taking us to the right bus station (we were at the wrong one!) and showed us where we should wait.

Across the whole of China I have to say that the local people are so friendly and everyone we met were very genuine & lovely helpful people. They seemed to like practising their English (which was great for us as we could only manage a few Chinese words) and often would go out of their way & take the time to help us.

So back to the boat! We made it in the end & boarded at about 5pm. Neither of us know what to expect really as we had never been on a cruise before, but it turned out to be really great. We saw our itinerary for the next 5 days and we were actually really looking forward to being told what to do, taken to places, being fed & generally not having to think for ourselves :-)

Each day we'd be woken in our 1970's style cabin by an early morning walk-up call. 7am!!! After our big daily breakfast we'd then go off to our trip for the day, of which there were 3;

1. The Yangze Dam - an amazing structure which was built to manage the water levels & prevent future flooding, but unfortunately in order to build it they had to flood an entire villages & re-home all of the locals.

2. Hanging Coffins- we took a Paddle boat trip along the yellow river which was just breathtaking scenery, very green & lush but I also thought it felt a bit spooky! Probably because I was most excited about seeing the hanging coffins…………..which are nestled about 100 feet above in the rocks, literally perched on the edge. Nobody knows why or how they got there (or if they do they don't say in order to add to the mystery of it all!) but either way I really loved the trip.

At one point, in the really low water levels, our paddle boat was pulled along by about 7 men who waded through the water in their bare feet. To say they were strong was an understatement!

3. Ghost City - A temple that was set high upon the hill overlooking the Yellow River. It was named after the 2 people who built it, but some confusion about their names getting mixed up when translated into English meant 'Ghost' hence the name. It definitely wasn't as spooky or mystical as the hanging coffins but was still a great day out.

All in all we really enjoyed our cruise & would definitely recommended anyone to do it. We met some lovely people, ate more than our fair share of gorgeous food & saw some breathtaking scenery.

permalink written by  mich_and_dan_moors on July 18, 2011 from Yichang, China
from the travel blog: mich_and_dan_moors's Travel Blog
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